Archive for March, 2011

Where’s The Good News?

          If you are anything like me you must be tired of watching the network news. Bad news seems to be pouring in at an unprecedented pace, to the point that we are almost numb to its impact. We have flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, financial chaos, political corruption, and Charlie Sheen. Charlie is all about winning, I’m just trying to get my mind around the prize. He’s now decided to take his act on the road and is booked to sold-out crowds around the country. As the highest paid TV personality he seems to have a following, even the network executives want him back on the show. He’s hot, he’s selling and he’s in demand. WHY? What’s the attraction, what’s the prize? Maybe it’s the hearts and minds of a lost generation.

          People are hungry and desperate for something to feel good about. Human beings are born with the need to believe in something. God created us that way. He did so for His purpose and has presented us with the opportunity to live this life with an overflowing abundance of all that we need to fulfill our needs and He stands ready to enable us to live above the moral degradation of society. When any person chooses to live outside this provision they are left to fill the void inside with anything and everything that comes along, even the likes and philosophies of Charlie Sheen. His TV persona as a womanizing, party hardy, self-indulged character seems to emulate his off screen lifestyle. His indiscretions are not occasional but rampant. We’ve come an unfortunate distance from “Leave It to Beaver”. As a society the impact is obvious. Divorce is a major business, over half of our families are broken, our education system is failing and our children encouraged toward the heretofore unthinkable. Tell me they are not influenced by the immoral behavior portrayed as normal on TV and in the movies. The legislature continually tries to overcome these issues by enacting more laws to govern behavior. They are currently considering ways to prevent teen “sexting” via smart phones, a problem reportedly involving 22% of our young people. As a result of all of this brokenness teen suicide has reached an epidemic level.

         The networks themselves seem to be addicted to “bad news”. When a slow news day comes the filler pieces are most likely something scrounged off “You Tube” and almost always the content is negative (not to mention unworthy of prime time news).  So I ask, where’s the “good news”? Has society sunk so low that there exist no interesting and uplifting human interest stories? In a world that is desperate and needy for something to feel good about it seems the networks are not really all that interested.

          In the midst of all the chaos and turmoil, trials and tribulations, really “Good News” does exist. There is hope, there is a future, and there is truth, a way and a life. These things can only be found in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Perhaps the only thing worse than the lack of good news on TV is the deafening silence of the American church in proclaiming the only real “Good News” available to everyone who is willing to listen, if only given the chance to hear, even Charlie Sheen. Each of us must take personal responsibility for finding and living in God’s truth. If you are skeptical let me ask just one question. Given the fact that our society was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, yet in the wisdom of the courts we removed prayer from our schools and largely abandoned the beliefs of our founding fathers, is it really working for you?

“To the Moon Alice”

         The final mission for the shuttle spacecraft “Discovery”  landed this week. It returned from outer space after performing the latest maintenance items on the “International Space Station”. How routine this has become. Many are unaware that we had people in space or may be oblivious to the fact that a space station exists.  I had the privilege of going to the Kennedy Space Center this week and I must say that it was a bit surreal. It was hard to grasp the history and the ongoing reality of our space program. We actually place people in capsules and shuttles strapped to rockets with the explosive power of a nuclear bomb and launch them out of the earth’s atmosphere. How can we possibly not be amazed at such accomplishments?

          As a child in elementary school I still remember listening to the radio broadcast of Alan Shepherd, the first American in space, orbiting the earth and then returning. The world was fixated on the event with total wonderment. The Russians had beaten us with the first man in space followed by several failed attempts by NASA to accomplish the same feat. But then it happened. Astronaut Alan Shepherd orbited the earth. The race was on as the world’s two super powers ventured where no man had ever gone. What came next may well be the most exciting and courageous event in American history. Presdent Kennedy declared that we were going to the moon! We intentionally decided to do the impossible. What’s even more incredible, we did it. Since then a total of twelve Americans have walked on the surface of the moon. No other country has even come close to the accomplishments of our space program. With all of this in mind, I can’t help but wonder why God scattered the people of Babel for building a tower estimated to be approximately 300 ft. in height yet He allowed us to walk on the moon.

          Could intentions be more important to God than actions? The people of Babel were united in their efforts to solidify their security through building a tower that would reach into the heavens. They wanted to be in control of their own destiny. After seeing pictures from the Hubble telescope reaching millions of light years through space the 300 foot tower now looks a bit absurd. So one must conclude that God didn’t care for their purpose. Their intentions for mankind were not aligned with His plan. Therefore the next logical question must be to consider  the intentions of our own space program. Why did we and why do we pursue adventures in space? President Kennedy likened the question to “why climb the tallest mountain”. There is something in the human spirit that strives to accomplish great achievements and desires to discover the meaning of life itself. We want to know the reason and purpose for the world around us and beyond. Perhaps this is the result of our inborn nature to know God. I believe the fall of man that caused the separation between mankind and God left us with a deep rooted need to find meaning and relevance which drives us toward the inevitable truth that God does exist and life without Him is meaningless.

          Recently, I watched a video entitled “Journey Toward Creation”. This documentary depicts our journey of discovery and findings from the efforts of our space program. In an effort to see what lies beyond we have discovered some amazing facts regarding our own existence. Because we are a tiny dot in the giant cosmos it is easy to think that there must be life on other planets, otherwise the vastness of the universe seems to be a complete waste. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A study of numerous solar systems have resulted in finding no ability to sustain life on any other planet. Instead scientists have discovered how dependant our solar system and planet is upon all of the universe even the number of stars that exist. The entire cosmos is designed to support life on the planet Earth. What happens light years in space has a direct impact on our planets ability to survive and to sustain life as we know it. Many noted scientists and astronomers have now reached the conclusion that there is an undeniable grand design to the uiniverse and it is the unmistakable work of a supreme higher being. Imagime that. Our efforts to discover what lies beyond this world have served to prove that God does exist and the cosmos was created out of His magnifcent grace to support life for mankind on a tiny planet we call home. Ralph Cramden may have thought the answer to all his problems was sending Alice to the Moon; all he really needed to know was who hung it.

Ralph Cramden was a character from the TV series “The Honeymooners”.